Be Aware of and Beware of THE CHRONOLOGICALLY SUPERIOR!
Wisdom is the sum of the reflective and reflexive understandings that settle deep in one’s soul after a long journey — a life adventure peppered with laughter, tears, fear, foolishness, joy, doubt, amazement and wonder. Pay attention to those who have traveled before you. Ask questions and listen with your whole being. Like echoes in a canyon, the lessons will continue whispering their meaning.
What follows is a five-part essay on health and wellness for seniors.
Once Upon a Time…
If you have followed my writings, you know that I enjoy extreme mountain adventures. High altitude treks in remote settings. If this were the 1950s, my Samsonite would flash decals from the mountain regions of Nepal, Tanzania, Alaska and Peru.
Because I’ve lived at or near sea level my whole life, training for mountains takes a lot of time and a lot of discipline. I’m talking about legs. Lots and lots of stairs, leg-lifts, leg-curls, bike time and long walks in the woods with a weighted backpack.
In addition to flat terrain, I also live where it snows, a lot. This means that I am often forced indoors during the winter months. And, this is where my story begins.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, Bally Fitness Center, December, 2000
I’m pedaling furiously on a Lifecycle when a young instructor approaches.
“Excuse me, sir,” she says, “We have a new piece of equipment that I think you’d really enjoy.”
Looking up, I say, “Oh, hi. Thanks. What is it?”
“A recumbent bike.” she tells me.
I think I know where she’s going with this.
“I really like the Lifecycle, but thanks, anyway.”
She hesitates for a moment and then—nicely and respectfully—says, “Sir, we have found that [uncomfortable pause] for, for, for people like you, this is a better piece of equipment.”
Well, now I do know where she is going with this but she just isn’t sure how to tell this old man to cool it with all the time he’s spending on this bicycle. I smile back, appreciating the consideration and concern, and tell her, “Yes, well, thanks again, but I really do like the Lifecycle.”
She is younger than our daughter and intensely dedicated to her profession. I can see that she isn’t going to give up. She steps back for a moment, pauses to find the right words, nods her head obviously pleased with herself and approaches, once again.
“Sir, we have found that…for the chronologically superior…the recumbent bicycle really is a better choice.”
I smile, pleasantly shake my head, and look up one more time, “You mean I’m old, and my prostate could use a break?”
“Yes, sir!” she beams. “That’s it, exactly.”
That is also the precise moment I forever became Chronologically Superior. I liked the way it sounded. I still do. And, by the way, I now own a recumbent bicycle.
Part I: A Conversation with My Father
Part II: I’m Not Old…I’m Chronologically Superior!
Part III: CS Members Only – Qualifications
Part IV: Caution – Your Workforce and Consumer Base Are Ageing
Part V: Summary – So What?